Real Wedding – Ebony & Shannon, Wandiligong VIC
A true wedded wonderland was Ebony and Shannon’s Wandiligong day.
From an incredible, mountainous backdrop for their heartfelt ceremony, to a warm and inviting cocktail-style reception, there was plenty of dancing, and for these longtime lovers – plenty to celebrate.
The Alpine region was a truly breathtaking place for Ebony and Shannon to say their I-do’s and we think you’ll agree, the photography of Damien Milan, is enough to have you falling head over heels for their sweet celebration.
In Ebony’s words…
We met as children in primary school when we were eight and nine years old. We were “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” throughout our later primary school years. It ended dramatically when a new boy started at the school and Ebony liked that new kid from “out of town”. We lost contact and reconnected in 2005 spontaneously at a local shopping centre. Ebony had a boyfriend at the time but after seeing Shannon that day, they exchanged numbers, Ebony ended her not-so-serious relationship with her current boyfriend, met Shannon the day after reconnecting and the rest is history, 13 years later.
I think we both knew we were the one for each other almost straight away. Shannon even told me that he wanted to marry me only a few weeks after dating. When you know you just know and there is no way you can imagine your life without that person in it.
Shannon popped the question on our holiday in Ubud, Bali at a romantic restaurant, hiding the ring box in a not so obvious place to me as he knew I would ask questions. Safe to say he hid it well and after a quick stop in the restaurants bathroom to collect the ring box from his underwear, he asked me to marry him.
When the planning started we both easily agreed that it had to be in one of our favourite spots, “Bright” in Alpine Victoria. We wanted the ceremony to be in a garden somewhere where the mountains where our backdrop. We stumbled across a garden from a recent Airbnb trip we did, where the host offered to have us get married in their garden in Wandiligong. The Wandiligong Hall is Pinterest-worthy from the outside and even cosier on the inside. It wasn’t until exploring further that I came across it as a venue we could use. Prior to this we had only visited it during Autumn, when they hold a local market inside the hall.
The planning process was enjoyable with many trips to Wandiligong from Melbourne to suss out suppliers, take measurements of the venue and enjoy some of the local food, scenery and gin while we were at it.
As soon as we started planning I think we both had a clear vision of what we wanted. A warm, inviting and native cocktail-style wedding, with plenty of time for dancing. We had this idea of how we wanted to execute our style and it came together perfectly. With the help of some family and friends the day before the wedding and a quick sketch of how we wanted it to look and a list of everyone’s jobs, the naked Wandiligong Hall came alive. We hung 52 meters of festive lights and 100 metres of fairy lights to the roof of the 4-metre high ceiling. We collected some local gum to also hang from the roof and got a cracking open fire ready to be lit during the reception. Most of our wedding was DIY including the sketch on our invitations and wedding stationery done by myself and the triangle arbour and bar which Shannon spent weeks making. I styled the venue the day before with natives, candles and local chestnut shells scattered around the hall.
My wedding dress was found very spontaneously and I was on my own. I had another dress on hold at a different boutique but on a Monday morning thought I would just go and try a few on just to be sure. I knew the style I wanted and wanted a elegant, fitted, beaded dress. When I tried “the one” on I knew it was it. It was perfect. I made a quick call to one of my bridesmaids who made it there in five minutes and we both agreed that it was “the dress”. It was designed by “Jessica Bridal Couture” and purchased from Fairy Tales Boutique.
My favourite moment from the day was the moment I saw Shan at the other end of the aisle. Its amazing how you have all these other people sharing your special day but in that moment I felt like we were the only two there. I also loved the hour and half or so that we had privately with our photographers and videographer exploring the Alpine National Park.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage to both of us means a commitment to each other where we can grow together as best friends, lovers, support each others aspirations and pick up the pieces for one another when needed.
Aisle: The Vow by Ruth Anne
Signing: Love on the weekend by John Mayor
Just married: Only Love by Ben Howard
Reception entry: The way you make me feel by Michael Jackson
First dance: Perfect by Ed Sheeran
Farewell: Sweet Lovin by Sigala
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The poles Shannon made to hang all the lights across the room were short by 100mm, so a quick alteration was in order the day before the ceremony.
The girls’ morning couldn’t have been more relaxed, even having time to pop open that second bottle of champagne as we were all ready two hours before the ceremony. As for the boys, a missing pocket square and a burst boiling hot water system kept them all on their toes but made for fabulous stores during speeches.
I really enjoyed planning the wedding and it was such an achievement once we saw our vision all come together. I was surprised on how as time gets closer to the day, the things we may of normally stressed about didn’t bother us, as you realise the show will go on even if you don’t have that specific coloured timber table top or not.
Words of wisdom.
One thing we both really enjoyed a few days prior to the wedding was having two days just the two of us in our accomodation in Wandiligong. No reception, just an open fire, a bottle of the local gin and time together to really take it all in. If I had any words of wisdom that would be it, enjoy the lead up together, as most likely you’ve worked your butts off prior to the big day. Also, peppermint tea works a treat to keep those tummy nerves at bay, I had four cups on the morning of our wedding.
Be in the moment, take in all the feelings including all the butterflies as it really is going to be one of the best days of your life. Don’t stress the small stuff and remember what has brought you to this day so far. Its not that specific canapé you wanted or those flowers thats aren’t in season on your wedding day, its that one of a kind person who you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with and to have a bloody good party to kick it all off.
For more mountain magic, check out Erin and Adrian’s Macedon Ranges celebration here.
EBONY & SHANNON’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: The Gardens on Private Property in Wandiligong
Reception venue / location: Wandiligong Public Hall
Celebrant/Officiant: Bruce Kilpatrick
Photography: Damien Milan – Damien and Anastasia, along with our Videographer, Rick were absolutely incredible, and just felt like one of our guests. Their work, it speaks for itself, “Spectacular”.
Videography: Rick Nelson from Dreamboat Films
Styling: Ebony and Shannon
Florist: Poppy Emporium for bouquets and flower pins
Hair: Ebony: Hair by Bright Coiffure, Bridesmaids: Hair done by themselves
Make-up: MuMu Makeup artistry
The Dress(es): Jessica Bridal Couture
Veil / headwear: Louise Greco Bridal
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Boden
Groomsmen’s suits: Menz Mode
Bow ties / ties: Menz Mode
Catering: Pop Up Catering Milawa – Em and her team went above and beyond (and I’m sorry for all my post it notes that I left for you everywhere when you arrived!).
Bar: Ebony and Shannon – staffed by Pop Up Catering
Cake / Cake topper: Pop Up Catering
Stationery / Signage: Ebony and Shannon
Décor: Styled by Ebony with items we used at our engagement party or decor that we personally use in our home, vases & candle holders ect.